HUG A JEW

I have never liked Easter. Ever. I never got it for some reason. I mean, I understand it. Heck, I know the story. I spent umpteen years in Catholic school. How could I not? My first acting gig was Pontius Pilate in 4th grade. Easter just seems full of strange contradictions. There are a few people that get a really bad rap this time of year. Pontius, Judas and ... well... the entire Jewish people.

Let me clear something up for you folks, the whole story is about the fulfillment of a promise God made to Abraham eons before the Gospels. (Regardless of whether you believe any of this or not - just follow me on this). It was the promise of a Messiah. The promise of the Lord made flesh who would die for our sins and fulfill the covenant God made with his chosen people. You still with me on this? Okay. So everything that happens is pre-destined... at which point I have to wonder... why did God wait? If he predestined all of this long before - why bother blowing the budget on all those prophets? Elija alone must have cost a fortune. God knew it was going to happen -so... why bother - cut to the chase - all done - the Old Testament would have been a freakin' pamphlet.

But Big Papa G don't play like that... so the nation of Israel has to suffer decades and centuries of crap - invasions, slavery... the Book of Numbers... have you read that freakin' thing... One word... PADDING!!! Anyway - so finally a child is born from the bloodline of King David (part of the prophecy) - born to a virgin - God and humans are one. Still with me? 

That's only part of the covenant. For the prophecies and the promise to be fulfilled Jesus has to die, horribly. Let me say that again because it's important. Jesus has to die, horribly. It's part of the plan that everybody has been talking about all this time. So when it all finally goes down in the Garden at Gethsemane (I never could spell that) all of a sudden everybody gets pissed. At Judas, the one man on which the entire BIBLE and its running story arc depends. Someone had to betray Jesus in order to start the chain of events that would lead to his death and eventual resurrection. Okay? So...tell me again... why is he hated? Why is he considered a bad guy? If he hadn't done what he did... no cross, no death, no resurrection.. no religion, no point, no Bible... no Jerry Falwell...no Inquisition...no Crusades...no 9/11... wait - I think I'm off topic.

ANYWAY - so Judas is hated for playing his predestined role in all this - and then he hangs himself in shame. Doesn't matter! He betrayed our Lord. Wow... you Christians are some fair-weather freakin' friends. The idea of killing Jesus for our salvation is great until somebody actually has to do it. Which brings me to Pontius Pilate. This poor...oppressive Roman Governor of a conquered land... He tries desperately to save Jesus from the Cross. He even goes so far as saying "Hey! Jews! You know, we've got three guys up here... two robber/murderer/rapists and this hippy who some people don't like... [singing] One of these things is not like the others." But, of course, because it moves the story in the right direction - the Jews pick one of the bad guys and Jesus goes up on the cross. Pilate, trying to be a fair leader gives the people what they ask for. Why is there a special place in hell for him? Is being a bureaucrat a sin? Okay – don’t answer that. Again, I don't understand.

Finally,  the Jews are shown as blood thirsty and wicked. Again... if they weren't none of this would have happened. Don't blame them. They were playing their part in this thing that was set in motion years before. Let it go. Okay. If they had picked Jesus over the other guy, it all would have been for nothing and you would have no reason to wear purple and yellow floppy hats every April.

So I guess what I'm saying is... there's no bad guy in any of this, no matter what Mel Gibson says. Don't say "they put our Lord to death" if putting him to death is really what made him your Lord. That's pointless hostility. So do me a favor - this Easter – if you’re Christian, hug a Jew and say "Hey! It's okay man! You were just doing your job. We're cool."

Then take their hand and start singing songs from “Godspell”... if that doesn’t have them kicking your ass in under three minutes, nothing will.